West Perth, Australia’s Methyl Ethel have announced their new album, Triage, will be released on February 15 th 2019. They also share a single ‘Real Tight’ and its accompanying video, directed by Matt Sav. Triage marks the Perth, Australia band’s third studio album. It was written, produced and performed by lead singer Jake Webb, mixed by Marta Salogni and mastered by Heba Kadry. Recorded in Webb’s home studio in West Perth .
From Jake Webb:
METHYL ETHEL began as a personal challenge. I wanted to see if I could write, record and release some
music before the band I was in at the time finished doing the same. I did and subsequently withdrew from
some close friends. Relationships were severed, I severed some even closer ones. This all played out in such
a public way, as it invariably does, so I withdrew more. My first album Oh Inhuman Spectacle became the ‘why
me?/fuck you/sorry’ album that I wrote as a confused coping mechanism. It helped and I enjoyed it. I continued the introspective journaling with the follow-up, Everything is Forgotten. For me, that album said ‘who cares? all your emotions are irrational and meaningless anyway.’ This year, I found myself in the same city, alone in a room tasked with writing an album to be heard, not as an outlet for personal grievances. I decided to find closure with Triage. The question this time around is ‘what is important? What requires attention?’ I think It’s about living with secrets. Secrets cause the problems. They call them white lies, little things used to manipulate people for the greater good. It’s a triage of truths to maintain an artifice. A poem by T.S Elliot that I referenced on the first EP I recorded says it best;
“To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.”
Everyone is older, people have moved on. I receive text messages from old friends looking to reconnect. I have a masochistic social complex in so far as I enjoy the company of others, but self-imposed solitude and exile are exciting and useful to me. It’s like method acting, which isn’t too far removed from the emotional memory I see people drawing upon every day. I challenge the idea of friendship and trust. I think because I am untrustworthy. At least I’m honest about that.
At the end of the Everything Is Forgotten album cycle, Jake returned to Western Australia and to a routine of
working in his home studio from 9 to 5 every day. It was the same process that birthed his earliest recorded
works. “I got obsessed with a lot of theory, essentially trying to discover how songs work,” he says. This scholarly approach has resulted in a succinct record dripping in aesthetics, as Jake subverts pop music across its many styles. ‘All The Elements’ takes the ready-to-wear sonics of Everything Is Forgotten and brings in a lumbering new wave groove. ‘Trip The Mains’ has the fizzy thrill of The Cure’s ‘Let’s Go To Bed’ coupled with the melting synths of David Bowie’s ‘Ashes to Ashes’. “I must admit I was only listening to ‘Scary Monsters’ and The Cure at that stage. All you have to do is put in some chimes and make the 16th note hi-hat,” Jake explains. Keyboard-driven first single “Scream Whole” marries the incongruous, drawing from Sibelius’ piano work and Venezuelan producer Arca, “I designed quite a few of my own soft synth sounds across the album in a similar way”, and rhythms that are a blend of “classic drum machines and actual playing, so they hint at the 80’s”. The aforementioned ‘Real Tight’ is so infectious that it takes several listens to realise there isn’t a chorus.